Vacation Bible Schools Shouldn't Use Dog Sledding Theme



In regard to the story, "Vacation Bible Schools fill summer" published in the June 9 Payson Roundup, several programs used Arctic adventure as their theme.

The Vacation Bible School should teach respect for God's creatures by telling the children seeing sled dogs in Alaska that the Iditarod is cruel to dogs.

The short list of what happens to dogs during the Iditarod includes death, paralysis, penile frostbite, bleeding ulcers, lung damage, ruptured discs, broken bones, pneumonia, torn muscles and tendons, diarrhea, vomiting, hypothermia, fur loss, broken teeth, viral diseases, torn footpads, sprains and anemia.

On average, 53 percent of the dogs who start the Iditarod don't make it across the finish line. According to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, of those who do finish, 81 percent have lung damage. The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine reported that 61 percent of the dogs that finish the Iditarod have ulcers versus 0 percent pre-race.

Stories about the dogs receiving top-notch health care don't square with the facts. Dogs are often sick before the Iditarod starts but are made to race anyway. While some sick dogs are dropped during the race, others are given massive doses of antibiotics to keep them going.

The Iditarod is a truly rotten and immoral business.

Margery Glickman, Director, Sled Dog Action Coalition, Miami, Fla.

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